General order no. 4.Massachusetts should be at all times ready to furnish her quota upon any requisition of the President of the United States, to aid in the maintenance of the laws and the peace of the Union. His Excellency the Commander-in-chief therefore orders,— That the commanding officer of each company of volunteer militia examine with care the roll of his company, and cause the name of each member, together with his rank and place of residence, to be properly recorded, and a copy of the same to be forwarded to the office of the Adjutant-General. Previous to which, commanders of companies shall make strict inquiry, whether there are men in their commands, who from age, physical defect, business, or family causes, may be unable or indisposed to respond at once to the orders of the Commander-in-chief, made in response to the call of the President of the United States, that they be forthwith discharged; so that their places may be filled by men ready for any public exigency which may arise, whenever called upon. After the above orders shall have been fulfilled, no discharge, either of officer or private, shall be granted, unless for cause satisfactory to the Commander-in-chief. If any companies have not the number of men allowed by law, the commanders of the same shall make proper exertions to have the vacancies filled, and the men properly drilled and uniformed, and their names and places of residence forwarded to Headquarters. To promote the objects embraced in this order, the general, field, and staff officers, and the Adjutant and acting Quartermaster General will give all the aid and assistance in their power. Major-Generals Sutton, Morse, and Andrews will cause this order to be promulgated throughout their respective divisions. By command of His Excellency John A. Andrew, Governor and Commander-in-chief.
William Schouler, Adjutant-General.
The order was generally well received, and immediately acted upon. Some of the newspapers attacked it, as unnecessary and sensational; but it was sustained as proper. The active militia responded with alacrity. Meetings were held in their armories, the rolls called; and the men who could